It was Thursday when Ziyaad, Mohammed, Mr. Refaat and I met in the evening to watch the sunset and converse, as we left the plan for rest of the night to be decided later. The usual conversation then went from about life to almost all aspects; whether be it social, economical, political, educations, or anything you could possibly think of.
We then started talking about education once again. Mohammed is going to London School of Economics (LSE) to do his Masters in Global Politics, Mr. Refaat is going to Kent University to do his PhD in Comparative Literature, while I was still not sure about what should happen next. My mind starts to wonder off to three weeks ago, when I received an unconditional offer from the University of Westminster for a Masters degree in Business Intelligence and Analytics.
It was a sunny Friday when I received an email from the admissions office in the University of Westminster, telling me that the University has made an unconditional offer, for the previously mentioned course, starting in September 2011. This very email was the first ever to put me in tears. I was very happy that I’d finally made it half way through to the UK!
Three hours later, I applied to the scholarship, without which, I won’t be able to continue my education! All required papers were submitted. TOEFL and IELTS, full transcript, Résumé, etc. The scholarship sent a confirmation receipt by email a few hours later. I lean back and grab my cup of coffee with a wide smile. I felt so close to leaving Gaza for the first time in my life.
All of this flashed in front of my eyes in a fraction of a second, and I am back to reality when Mr. Refaat asked me: “So, Nader, for which scholarship did you apply?” With utmost courage I replied: “PEACE”. As soon as I said that, the whole atmosphere changed to absolute silence, which, in fact, terrified me a little bit and made me feel a bit uncomfortable, as I sensed something wrong. “What’s wrong?” I asked, breaking the silence, wanting to bring the old atmosphere back. “Nothing!” Mr. Refaat replied, stopped for second and continued, “Did you know that this is one of the highly competitive scholarships?”
Once again, my feelings were right. I knew something bad wass going to happen because nothing has ever gone right so far. Then Mr. Refaat continued, “I know many who have applied to this very scholarship and I believe that it is going to be highly competitive this year”, “Yeah, right” I said to myself and the topic changed somehow and we ditched this topic as it was time for Maghrib.
I spent fifteen minutes thinking of what Mr. Refaat had said over and over again and the more I thought about it, the more that creepy feeling got me. So I just decided to leave and go to the gym to release the depression and clear my mind at least for an hour.
It took me two whole days to recover from that shock. Also, thanks to my friends who have helped me through this. Without them, I wouldn’t have come to realize that I am a competitor and I deserve to get it for my rich work experience and academic excellence. I am not depressed anymore, but not getting the scholarship will be totally devastating.
If you happen to be or know someone in the scholarships office in the university, talk to them about my case please. Otherwise, just pray I get it. Help me help make the world a better place.